Nature & Environment
'Lost world' forest found inside giant sinkhole in China
By T.K. Randall
May 14, 2022 · 11 comments
What lies within China's sinkholes ? Image Credit: CC BY-SA 2.5 Pfctdayelise
The sinkholes in China's Hubei province are so large that it's possible to find whole ecosystems inside them.
It sounds like something out of a Jurassic Park movie, but scientists from China have discovered what appears to be a miniature lost world hidden inside a remote sinkhole.
The hole, which descends 630ft into the ground, was found to be home to a small forest complete with ancient trees and plants that have been eking out an existence for countless centuries while relying only on the sunlight that filters through the top of the sinkhole hundreds of feet above.
According to cave expert George Veni, such sinkholes exist in the region because China's karst topography is particularly conducive to their formation.
"Because of local differences in geology, climate and other factors, the way karst appears at the surface can be dramatically different," he told Live Science
"So in China you have this incredibly visually spectacular karst with enormous sinkholes and giant cave entrances and so forth. In other parts of the world you walk out on the karst and you really don't notice anything. Sinkholes might be quite subdued, only a meter or two in diameter."
The newly explored sinkhole, which is situated in China's Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region, could offer up a treasure trove of data for researchers by providing a unique opportunity to study trees and plants that have evolved in a relatively closed-off environment over a long period of time.
There probably won't be any dinosaurs down there, though.
Source: Live Science
| Comments (11)
Sinkhole, Forest, China
Please Login or Register to post a comment.